Super-Mud Clearing Treatment is the sequel to GlamGlow’s original Tingling & Exfoliating Mud Mask (reviewed elsewhere on this site), and while the Super-Mud version boasts a different cast of ingredients, it nonetheless continues the trend established by the original—plenty of irritating plant extracts, potent fragrance and jar packaging.
Jar packaging means the few beneficial ingredients that are present won’t be stable for long (not to mention the hygiene issue). See More Info for details on this type of packaging and why irritation is a problem for everyone’s skin.
Super-Mud Clearing Treatment contains kaolin clay and silicate to absorb oil, followed by an unnecessarily lengthy list of AHAs, including lactic, glycolic, malic, pyruvic and (because, hey, why not?) BHA (salicylic acid) also makes an appearance. However, there is only a tiny amount of each present, so, even combined, it’s likely skin won’t see much exfoliation. It’s worth mentioning the pH of the Super-Mud Clearing Treatment is 4.1-4.4, which is borderline for providing results that will make you glad you used this mask.
While GlamGlow’s Super-Mud isn’t a super option for exfoliation, it’s certainly a super-irritating blend of fragrant plant extracts and added perfumes—the scent is almost overpowering upon opening the jar. This is not good skin care in the least. While you will likely see oil reduction in the immediate sense from the absorbent clays in this mask, using it becomes a “buy now, pay later” cycle. Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, which eventually means oilier skin and exacerbated breakouts (see More Info for details).
Bottom line: This “Hollywood-favorite” mask isn’t worth the price of admission. If reducing breakouts, smoothing rough areas and brightening the appearance of skin is your goal, GlamGlow Super Clearing Treatment won’t get you there. Instead, consider any of the effective scrubs or AHA/BHA exfoliants recommended in the Best Products section!
Irritation from Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Jar Packaging: The fact that this is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818-829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271-288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197-203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1-32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Using Irritating Ingredients on Oily Skin: Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being more oily and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23).
This formula was clinically developed by GLAMGLOW® dermatological chemists to help fight all common skin concerns, including breakouts, discoloration, black and white heads, razor bumps and in-grown hair.
Water, Kaolin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Hydroxide, Eucalyptus Globulus, Mandelic Acid, Charcoal, Parfum [Benzyl Benzoate, Linalool], Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Pyruvic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Maltodextrin, Iron Oxides, Peppermint Oil, Butylene Glycol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Glycerin, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract, Hendera Helix Extract, Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.
Strengths: None, unfortunately. Well, their packaging is pretty.
Weaknesses: Despite the hype, GlamGlow does not have exceptional, or even mediocre, products worth considering. Their primary two masks are overpriced and offer a mix of ordinary clays, potent fragrance and irritating plant extracts with a few beneficial antioxidants present but they are rendered useless because of the jar packaging.
Created by the husband-and-wife team of Glenn and Shannon Dellimore, the Hollywood, California-based GlamGlow line consists of several masks and cleansers. Their marketing claims may have you thinking these masks are revolutionary skin-care treatments but they are not—not even slightly. GlamGlow also claims their masks are sought out by actors and celebrities for their ability to "tighten skin and shrink pores". The celebrity allure is a good one, as most of us want to know what the stars use to get or stay gorgeous, but celebrity cache alone isn't a great reason to try any product. A lot of celebrities do things that aren't good for them, like smoke, tan, or drink too much, and they make skin care and cosmetic surgery mistakes too.
But back to the masks. The GlamGlow masks contain fragrant essential oils, irritating plant extracts and ordinary clays (despite being named "French clay", in the world of skin-care formulation, clay is just clay and being from France is as special as a French fry is to a potato).
The reality behind the ingredients used in the GlamGlow line is much less interesting than the story would lead you to believe. Aside from the mix of clay and fragrance, their "hero ingredient" is the trade-named ingredient called "Teoxi", which is just green-tea extract. While green-tea extract is an excellent antioxidant, isn’t capable of the the skin perfecting, Benjamin Button-age-reversing results promised. As the body's largest organ, your skin is far too complex to have its anti-aging needs met by one antioxidant, however good it may be. But even if green-tea extract were as amazing as GlamGlow asserts, it won’t remain stable in the jar packaging the company chose for their masks.
Aside from "Teoxi", GlamGlow uses trade names instead of using the actual ingredient name in their marketing claims, on both the box and their website. You may think "Teoxi" sounds impressive, but you're only getting standard ingredients—their use of trade names simply makes the formula seem more intriguing than it really is. For example, their "Bio-Life-Cell-Science" technology claims to be an "Advanced Scientific Skincare" blend, but in reality it's just a mix of eucalyptus, peppermint, comfrey, ivy, marigold and other standard plant extracts. It would take some advanced scientific Photoshopping to get anti-wrinkle/anti-blemish results from this cast of ordinary problematic ingredients!
If you're interested in a clay mask for absorbing excess oil or helping clogged pores, there are many alternatives which easily beat GlamGlow for a fraction of the cost. There is nothing unique about the masks this line sells.
GlamGlow also makes exfoliating claims, but these don't live up to their promise for reasons discussed in each mask's reviews. You are better off using a soft washcloth with your cleanser for physical exfoliation—you will get virtually identical results and save your skin the irritation (plus spare your bank account the wasted money). If brighter, more even-toned skin is your goal, consider any of the well-formulated AHA/BHA exfoliants recommended in the Best Products section.
In the end, despite lots of hype, GlamGlow is a disappointment that isn't worth the expense and puts your skin at risk of irritation. If only a fraction of the marketing efforts behind the brand were put into formulating their products, they might have ended up with products truly deserving of celebrity accolades!
For more information about GlamGlow, email at email@example.com or visit www.glamglowmud.com (there is no available phone number).
Note: As of January 2015, GlamGlow has been acquired by Estee Lauder.
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